Knight Foundation invests $70,000 to help entrepreneurs engage in
local problem-solving and build global connections
MIAMI—Feb. 23, 2015—Singularity University today launched its Global Impact Competition (GIC) in Miami calling on innovators to answer the question: How would you solve South Florida’s sea level rise challenge and improve the lives of a million people in three to five years by using technology? The competition is supported by $70,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Two winners will receive full tuition to Singularity University’s 10-week Graduate Studies Program (GSP) in Silicon Valley where they will work in teams with participants from around the world to build out ideas to humanitarian challenges. The competition is open to all U.S. residents, but ideas must focus on the challenge of sea level rise in South Florida. Applications can be submitted online between February 23rd and April 17th. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to pitch their ideas during the closing event hosted in Miami.
“With its growing community of innovators and tech entrepreneurs, Miami shows the potential to produce the kind of ideas that can have positive impact both at home and around the world,” said Rob Nail, Associate Founder and CEO of Singularity University. “Sea level rise poses a real threat to the future of Miami; we look forward to hearing from the innovators who are working to address this problem with technology and to connecting them with changemakers everywhere.”
“The Global Impact Competition offers Miami tech innovators and entrepreneurs a unique opportunity—inviting them to address a local challenge on an international stage,” said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation Program Director for Miami. “The hope is that the competition will help forge new connections between Miami entrepreneurs and their counterparts across the globe, while helping to build the city’s network of innovators and problem-solvers so they can work together to address pressing community concerns.”
Global Impact Competitions help identify promising innovators and connect them with mentorship opportunities and training. Hosted around the world by Singularity University — and in partnership with alumni and local sponsors — these competitions call on innovators to address significant challenges within local communities. Winners of each competition are awarded tuition to Singularity University’s Graduate Studies Program, hosted in Silicon Valley at the NASA Research Park in Mountain View, California. At the end of the program, participants are encouraged to return to their communities and share lessons learned, while working to implement their ideas.
“Singularity University’s goal in conceiving the Global Impact Competitions is to attract a multi-cultural, highly diverse cadre of capable, innovative entrepreneurs and future leaders to our Graduate Studies Program, where we can then prepare them to return to their home regions to implement new solutions and train others in social entrepreneurship,” said Nail. “The core curriculum of the Graduate Studies Program is structured to provide a broad, cross-disciplinary understanding of the biggest ideas and issues in disruptive technologies, and to empower participants with the tools, knowledge, skills and mindset for delivering real humanitarian impact at multiple levels.”
The 2015 Singularity University Graduate Studies Program runs from June 13th to August 23rd. Participants spend the first four weeks on education and training. The balance of the course is spent developing tech-based solutions to pressing community challenges. Participants build out their projects with support from Singularity University mentors and experts in the tech and entrepreneurial arena.
Support for the Global Impact Competition forms one part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to invest in Miami’s emerging innovators and entrepreneurs as a tool to build community, while fostering talent and expanding opportunity. Over the past two years, Knight Foundation has made more than 90 investments in entrepreneurship in South Florida.
To apply to Singularity University’s Miami Global Impact Competition, please visit global.singularityu.org/miami/gic.
About Singularity University
Singularity University’s (SU) mission is to educate, inspire and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges. Since 2009, SU has hosted entrepreneurs, industry leaders and government officials from more than 85 countries and has prepared both individuals and organizations for exponential technology changes through a series of events, conferences and education programs. SU’s Founding Corporate Partners include Genentech, Autodesk, Cisco, ePlanet Ventures, Google, Kauffman Foundation and Nokia.
For more information regarding SU’s Graduate Studies Program (GSP), Global Impact Competitions (GICs) and to participate as an applicant or sponsor, please contact Regina Njima at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit gic.SingularityU.org.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit KnightFoundation.org.